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Naomi Holmes - Huntly

Home cooking and the Bendigo Easter Parade are two of Naomi Holmes favourite things and if you throw in summers at Lake Eppalock, growing up in Huntly is an experience to be treasured for life.

Presently deployed on Operation OKRA with the Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant Naomi Holmes is in the Middle East Region providing mission support to aircrew and coordinating flying activities for the range of aircraft deployed by the Air Force to the theatre.

"I joined the Air Force through the Australian Defence Force Academy straight from High School at Catholic College Bendigo, after becoming interested in Defence from my Naval Cadets experience at TS Bendigo Naval Reserve Cadets," FLTLT Holmes said.

"This is my second overseas deployment and having an exciting job where I don’t just sit at a desk all day has confirmed my opinion that joining the Air Force was a route to travel and enjoyment of the adventures of seeing the world in the process of doing that job.

"There aren't many opportunities for home cooking on base here in the Middle East, nor is there paddle-boarding but I am contributing as part of a team, and I am able to apply my training, including two degrees that I have finished since joining, making deployment something that I really enjoy.

"Celebrating Christmas with my deployed family made up for not being at home, but I am looking forward to joining the family for a home cooked meal, some time at the beach and catching up with my friends after the deployment."

In addition to her two degrees FLTLT Holmes is a qualified Air Traffic Controller and has a Diploma of Advanced Aviation.

The Air Task Group (ATG) of Operation OKRA is operating at the request of the Iraqi Government within a US-led international coalition assembled to disrupt and degrade Daesh operations in the Middle East Region (MER).

The ATG comprises six RAAF F/A-18A Hornet fighter aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail airborne command and control aircraft, and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport air-to-air refuelling aircraft.

The ATG also has personnel working in the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, and embedded with the 'Kingpin' US tactical Command and Control Unit.